The Latest: Nordic nations ponder action against VW

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Posted: Sep 30, 2015 10:59 AM
The Latest: Nordic nations ponder action against VW

BERLIN (AP) — The latest developments in the Volkswagen emissions scandal. All times local.

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4:55 p.m.

Norway says it's considering action against Volkswagen over the emissions-rigging scandal, with auto dealers in the Nordic region estimating that at least 500,000 cars could be affected.

Some 150,000 cars have been fitted with the rigging software, including Volkswagens, Audis and Skodas, while in neighboring Sweden, Volkswagen dealers say 225,000 cars have been hit.

Norwegian Transport Minister Ketil Solvik-Olsen says they will cooperate with other nations on deciding what action to take and whether to target Volkswagen Group or VW importer Harald A. Moller. "We can't just shrug our shoulders and say, 'yes, yes, but don't do it again,'" he said Wednesday.

In Denmark, an estimated 91,000 vehicles are expected to be hit by the scandal, while dealers in Finland say at least 26,000 cars are affected but that could almost double to 50,000.

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1:50 p.m.

Sports car maker Porsche has appointed Oliver Blume as its new chief executive — replacing Matthias Mueller, who was made CEO of parent company Volkswagen last week.

Porsche's supervisory board on Wednesday approved the 47-year-old Blume's appointment effective Oct. 1. Blume has been responsible for production and logistics at Porsche since 2013.

Porsche employee council chief Uwe Hueck said in a statement that Blume "has the right drive technology in him, and he is a Porsche person through and through." He stressed the value of continuity.

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1:50 p.m.

A Volkswagen engine plant is cutting back one shift per week in response to the emissions-rigging scandal.

Stella Pechmann, a spokeswoman for the Salzgitter plant in central Germany, confirmed a report Wednesday in the Wolfsburger Allgemeine Zeitung daily that the "special shift" is being cut as a precaution because of the current situation. The shift had previously been added to deal with high demand.

Separately, the company's Volkswagen Financial Services division is freezing new hiring until the end of the year, though spokesman Stefan Voges told news agency dpa that existing hiring agreements are unaffected.

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1:35 p.m.

Germany's finance minister says he expects that the emissions-rigging scandal will prompt a lot of structural changes at Volkswagen but he doesn't see it damaging Germany as a business location.

Wolfgang Schaeuble was quoted Wednesday as saying in an interview with the RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland group of newspapers: "We will emerge from this crisis stronger too. We learn from crises. In the end, VW will no longer be what it was — a lot will change there structurally."

Asked what thoughts the news of the scandal prompted, Schaeuble drew a parallel with past events in the financial market. He said that global competition is "incredibly brutal. Everyone wants to be the biggest." He also pointed to "greed for glory, for recognition."

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12:55 p.m.

Volkswagen says almost 1.2 million cars in Britain have the software that allows them to cheat on emissions test.

The carmaker has admitted that 11 million of its diesel vehicles worldwide were fitted with a program that duped U.S. testers into believing the vehicles meet environmental standards.

In the U.K., more than 500,000 Volkswagen-branded cars and 80,000 VW commercial vehicles in Britain contain the software. Also affected are 393,000 Audis, almost 77,000 Seats and 131,500 Skodas.

Volkswagen said in a statement Wednesday that "affected customers will be contacted with details of a process to get their vehicles corrected in the near future. In the meantime, all vehicles are technically safe and roadworthy."

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11:55 a.m.

The Volkswagen Group distributor in Portugal says it sold 94,400 vehicles fitted with a diesel engine that can cheat on emissions tests.

SIVA said in a statement late Tuesday that 53,761 of them are VW cars and vans, 31,839 are Audis and the rest are Skodas.

The company said it intends to create a Portuguese web page listing the affected vehicles that will keep customers informed about developments.

It said the group brands will inform authorities in October how to they plan to fix the engine.

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11:20 a.m.

The Czech Republic says that 148,000 vehicles by Volkswagen and its brands that have a diesel engine capable of cheating on emissions tests have been sold in the country.

Transport Minister Dan Tok says 101,000 of those were made by the local VW brand Skoda Auto, 38,000 by Volkswagen, 7,000 by Audi and 1,800 by Seat.

He says VW and Skoda Auto have been working on a technical solution of the problem and the affected cars are safe to use while the company plans to recall them for a fix.

Tok also added on Wednesday that the ministry is planning an independent testing of some other Volkswagen cars.

Skoda brand acknowledged it produced 1.2 million vehicles with the rigged engines, out of a total 11 million under the VW Group.